Dr. Joseph Edward Rall — Ed Rall — never received a Nobel prize, but in his long-time leadership role at the National Institutes of Health, he supported and mentored many who did. And in his own research, he became one of the greatest authorities in the world on diseases of the thyroid. A year after his death in 2008, he was honored by colleagues from throughout the world as one of the preeminent scientists — and scientific mentors — of his generation.
Ed Rall grew up on a small college campus — North Central College in Naperville, Illinois — where his father was president. It must have been a very special learning environment. One college classmate, neurosurgeon Daniel Ruge, was White House physician to President Ronald Reagan, credited with saving the President’s life when he was shot. Another classmate, Dr. Mildred Rebstock, went on to synthesize the antibiotic chloromycetin.